A well-established and fast-growing town in the southeast is exploring the possibility of installing water mains in the core of their town where there currently are none and need to hear for residents before going ahead with any plans.

Niverville council notified residents at an open house and information evening three weeks ago that should the project be approved, it would take place over multiple years, in different phases, and would also include the installation of several new fire hydrants.

It was noted that for the project to be completed, there would be a substantial property tax increase and potentially other costs down the road if individual homeowners decided to connect to the new water main.

Council members explained in a hand-out at the meeting that there is the possibility of 50% of the project being funded by grants.

“However, this proposed project is still highly expensive and invasive, and the town of Niverville would like to see substantial buy-in from affected ratepayers before moving forward.”

Niverville with proposed watermain installation mapNiverville with proposed watermain installation map

Some Pros for Niverville residents to have their homes connected to the Water Mains included having fire hydrants nearby, which would have potential for their home insurance to be reduced. As well as the improvement of water quality, and access to town water should their own wells fail.

Some Cons included an increase in their property tax bill, disruption to residents during construction and the initial cost to the homeowner who chose to connect to the towns water main.

Niverville Mayor Myron Dyck says the March 1 Open house went very well. “In that when you have an open house, you want to hear from people, and you want them to show up. I mean, in the past, sometimes we'd have no one, sometimes two people, sometimes 10, but never 300. Never, not even close.”

Dyck notes that many residents had certain expectations when it came to what kind of information would be handed out. He says, “an Open House is an opportunity where people can come and interact with other residents, read the storyboards, ask questions. There were some people that thought there was going to be a public presentation, which there was not.”

That said, Dyck notes, for Niverville residents who have not yet looked over the proposal of installing water mains in Niverville, to fill out the online survey.

“People have until the 1st of April to fill it out, and we do want to hear from everyone.”

Dyck says the reason council is asking for residents' opinion, on the proposed water main project to update the aging infrastructure in the core of Niverville, is because they have received inquiries from several Niverville residents, asking when they could hook up to Niverville’s water mains,

“And so, council wanted to get a gauge of how many “some” is. And so, it's just a matter of filling out the survey. It’s not about forcing anyone to do anything. It is unfortunate that some had that mindset, that they would be forced to hook up to the water main, but you know, when you're in government, you sometimes have to wear that hat, and yes, sometimes trust is an issue.”

The mayor encourages the residents, “I just want to assure people that it is not about forcing people, it’s about providing the opportunity. If they don't want the opportunity, that's fine. If they've already filled out the survey and said No, fantastic. If they haven't filled it out yet, please do so. And if there's questions that you need answered before you make your answer, please notify the town office so that we can get you those answers, so you can make an informed decision.”

If you have further questions, please email feedback@whereyoubelong.ca and the town will respond within 48 hours.

Click the link for the Town of Niverville Water Main Installation Survey before April 1, 2024.